Warehouse Maintenance Need to be Proactive and Preventive
It’s easy to think of a warehouse as four and walls a roof — the place that houses materials and products at the beginning or end of the value stream. But warehouses are much more complex than meets the eye, and much more critical when you consider their contribution to operations. It’s important to remember that, for as much attention as you pay to warehouse ops, it’s equally important to maintain these facilities, from the structure to the racking, sorting, and housing systems within them.
Preventive maintenance is important
Warehouses are full of machinery and materials that could cause major injuries to employees when not properly cared for. It’s important that every part of your warehouse is hazard-free, to ensure employee safety. A safe environment also helps save money — you won’t have to pay high insurance costs as the result of a workplace injury.
Preventive maintenance in your warehouse might include utilizing technology to monitor machines, weatherizing your roof, and routinely checking shelves. Implementing these maintenance techniques not only improves workplace safety but also helps prevent the need for expensive repairs. Machines that are properly maintained will work at maximum efficiency and with reliable efficacy.
How to improve warehouse maintenance
Improving warehouse maintenance is easier than you might think. There are several simple approaches that make all the difference when it comes to worker safety and workplace efficiency.
All employees should be aware that taking proper safety precautions is everyone’s job. Employees need to keep an eye out for machinery that needs repairs and other possible safety hazards. A routine maintenance schedule is also imperative, to avoid overlooking safety issues.
One of the most important aspects of proper warehouse maintenance is ensuring that all hazards are properly marked. This means including warning signs, “restricted” tape, and color-coding where necessary. Make sure not to miss any of these hazards or you could find yourself flagged for one of OSHA’s common warehouse safety violations — or worse, a workers’ compensation case.
Avoid common warehouse hazards
Certain warehouse hazards are all too common and often result in injuries. Make yourself aware of common hazards, including the following:
- Trips, slips, and falls caused by spills, stray cords, and uneven surfaces
- Falling product, caused by improper shelving or storage practices
- Power equipment accidents, caused by inattentive or untrained operators
- Infrastructure hazards, caused by lack of maintenance or overdue service
There are plenty of ways to avoid these common hazards. Trips and slips, for example, are easily prevented by moving obstructions out of walking paths. You’ll also want to quickly clean any spills to keep the general warehouse area tidy. Proper training for all employees will help prevent issues with equipment accidents and improper shelving.
Be mindful of maintenance at all times
Keeping up with workplace maintenance and safety is the job of every employee. Encourage warehouse workers to say something if they notice a possible hazard. Then, it’s the job of warehouse supervisors and companies to ensure these problems get remedied. A proactive approach to maintenance for warehouse structures, racking systems, power equipment, machinery, and more goes a long way toward smoother, safer warehouse ops.